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Friday, September 02, 2005
Three Australian Hypocrites

I know the world shouldn’t be seen as black and white, that there are a multitude of greys and colours but I really thought that when it came to Monarchism and republicanism you were either one or the other or simply happy with the status quo. Not so it seems, particularly if you’re a republican where hypocrisy is policy.

Of course some of the biggest perpetrators of such hypocrisy are republican politicians. For these lot it goes a little like this; work for the Crown, swear an Oath to it but then work against it. In Australia, two such republicans have made the broadsheets recently; former NSW Premier Bob Carr and the Federal Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone.

Carr’s is the most ironic. After a decade as premier of New South Wales Carr put considerable effort into deposing The Queen. Royal Coat of Arms were torn down or chiselled away from buildings, the Oath of Allegiance was removed from public office – he couldn’t even get the states education of transport systems working but Carr’s government even found time to pass legislation renaming Crown Land to State Land! Some mighty changes for a little man, but he proved his worth this week. No longer holding office, having retired out of fear of losing the next election, he is not entitled to any titles. He’s no longer ‘The Honourable’, but not being able to stick to his Oath we can only speculate that he never was. But of course, his ego feels that ‘The Honourable’ is warranted so Carr has written to our Queen seeking permission to retain the title. Professor David Flint notably points out that ‘The Honourable’ is actually an Imperial title. Carr’s hypocrisy knows no bounds.

But if Carr has one thing going for him, he puts considerable time between acts of hypocrisy. Amanda Vanstone has no such finesse.

At a recent speech she made to a meeting of Liberal Party members in Victoria, Vanstone attempted to reignite the DOA republican debate in Australia. (Given her dismal performance as Immigration Minister she obviously needs to talk about anything else but her proven inabilities). But Vanstone had a few words of caution to her republican chums about the debate;
She blamed the failure of the referendum in part on a "politically naive" campaign rubbishing the monarchy, which she said was no way to conciliate, let alone persuade anyone.
Of course to prove her worth Vanstone soon opened her mouth: within minutes the ‘Two Tonne Tesse’ had referred to our Queen as “sweaty Betty”! “Some of the guests wished she'd taken her own good advice. Others just walked out.”

In Vanstone and Carr we find two hypocritical politicians, but another hypocrite made headlines in Australia this week. Media ‘personality’ and AFL commentator Eddie McGuire. McGuire’s actions aren’t anywhere as notable as the formerly mentioned politicians but wreaked of hypocrisy all the same. This week McGuire was fortunate enough to be awarded an Order of Australia. The Order of Australia is Australia’s Royal Order, the Queen of Australia is patron and recipients are presented with their award by the Governor on behalf of the Queen. Of course, McGuire didn’t see his receiving of the award as an act of hypocrisy, but just another chance to get his mug in the papers.


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